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The Game

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With Nipsey Hussle, Johnny Ringo and DJ Cipher, 8 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483 or www.warehouselive.com.

Rapper The Game's reckless, bizarre, whiny tendencies make him a wholly unique hip-hop character. Though the Compton native is among the handful of rap stars who still move many hundreds of thousands of units, he's no thug superhero like collaborator-turned-foe 50 Cent, and no drug-addled weirdo savant à la Lil Wayne. Game's flow is much better than theirs, for starters, and he wears his heart more obviously on his sleeve. He's the kind of guy who is dumb enough to get locked up for pulling out a gun during a pickup basketball game, but emotional enough to cry about it in an interview. He's said 2008 album L.A.X. will be his last, but one gets the feeling that if certain people show him love — say, Dr. Dre, who long ago stopped making beats for him — he'll keep making records. Nothing comes easy for Game. He's had to dodge allegations that he was a male stripper and not, as he claims, a gang member. On his albums he desperately shouts out everyone he can think of. But his need to be loved only adds to his appeal — in his vulnerability, he boasts a humanity few other rappers can touch.

 
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